Wrist pain is a common issue in many people that arises due to sudden injuries such as fractures or sprains. However, wrist pain can also occur due to long-term problems such as arthritis, repetitive stress and carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are many factors that may result in wrist pain. Therefore, it is important that you see a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the condition. Accurate diagnosis is important because this lets the doctor determine proper treatment measures depending on the cause and severity of the condition.
Signs and symptoms for Wrist Pain
The severity for wrist pain normally varies according to the cause. For instance, wrist pain associated with arthritis is normally similar to a vague tooth ache and wrist pain from tendinitis usually leads to an intense, stabbing pain. The precise location of the pain can also help determine the exact cause of the symptoms.
Learn more about how to treat wrist pain by your own with this YouTube video below.
When to seek medical help
Sometimes, medical care is not required for wrist pain. For example, minor strains and sprains can effectively be treated with home treatment measures such as rest, ice therapy and over-the-counter pain medication. However, if symptoms such as pain and swelling persist longer than a few days or worsen with time, it is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible.
A delay in diagnosis and treatment may result in improper healing, a decline in range of motion and also long-term disability of the wrist.
Treatment for wrist pain
Treatment options for wrist pain may vary significantly, depending on the type, severity and location of the injury and pain. Treatment measures may also depend on your overall health and your age as well.
Your doctor may recommend using over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce wrist. If pain persists with OTC pain medication and home treatment, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication to relieve symptoms.
- Home treatment
Resting, applying ice and wrapping the affected wrist with an elastic bandage may help relieve symptoms for minor injuries.
- Physical therapy
If wrist pain occurs due to broken wrist, the broken fragments may have to be aligned in their original position in order to allow the wrist to heal properly. A cast or splint may be applied in order to hold the displaced fragments together during the healing process.
If wrist pain occurs due to sprained or strained wrist, your doctor may apply a splint in order to protect the affected ligament or tendon during the healing process. Splints are beneficial for those suffering from overuse injuries due to repetitive movements of the structure being targeted.
Surgery may be required in some cases, for example:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. If symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are severe, you may be referred to a surgeon. Surgery involves cutting open the tunnel to relieve pressure on the affected nerve.
- Broken bone. The fragments may be aligned to the bone using metal hardware.
Ligament or tendon repair. Surgery is necessary if these structures have ruptured.